Yahoo, Yahoo, what can you do…

October 18, 2006

…to catch up with Google and impress the stock market for once?

Another disappointing quarter from Yahoo announced yesterday. Such a shame that this once dominant portal and darling of the media is taking so much flack these days! I was a huge fan of Yahoo, after all it was the only decent web destination when I started surfing and building sites in 1996. I had a real soft spot for it for many years, and MyYahoo was my homepage in my browsers…

Hang on! MyYahoo carried little to no advertising, I only used it for news, stock info, weather etc. Beyond that I never ventured into Yahoo at all and rarely if ever used it’s web search. When I did use Yahoo Search I never clicked on the paid links as they just aren’t as relevant as Adwords, and Yahoo don’t stop copyright infringement on keyword buying so you’d never know if the paid link was really who you wanted. And then along came Web2.0, and suddenly I use Yahoo no more (I’m a NetVibes man you see). How many others are like me? Fiercely loyal to Yahoo in the past, although we only ever used it as a gateway to better things? Could this be their problem?

I don’t know the answer to that I’m afraid, but it struck me last night while reading about the underperforming quarter that although I thought I liked Yahoo, perhaps it was just the best of a poor bunch at the time! Yes Yahoo has a huge email user base, a large messenger crew, the top visited finance pages and a raft of new functionality ranging from Answers to celebrity blogs but is any of this going to get it the earnings it desperately needs?

Perhaps users perception of Yahoo is like mine; functional, good starting point, research tool, useful if a little boring?

Yahoo has the user base and enough property online to be making huge profits so something isn’t going quite right. They do need to improve their paid search if they are ever going to claw back some of that market from Google, they’ve been promising updates for ages! They also need to look to integrate their services more, although Yahoo is still fundamentally a portal it really doesn’t feel integrated and there are opportunities to create a more coherent user experience. They could do with an aspect of social networking (360, messenger etc just don’t do it), I’m not sure Facebook is the answer though, surely they could create their own and make use of the existing user base?

Their biggest opportunity has to be the new API’s and developer centre they’ve created. It really is good and if they can encourage developers to create useful mashups that could be their saving grace.

Whatever happens, I’m sure Yahoo will carry on stumbling along, but they really do need a new hook if they are to ever get me back as a loyal user again.


One Response to “Yahoo, Yahoo, what can you do…”

  1. Lucas Says:

    Yahoo can do like Google do. Buy in companies like mad and hope one of them has a product that can make money. I’ve been
    trying to start a tech network
    among bloggers. If you think it’s a good idea gimme a shout on my blog.

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